By Felipe Assis | President of City to City Miami
If we continue to use the idea that culture is like soil, the gospel-centered culture that is informed by grace will promote healthy growth and good fruit, while any other culture that is informed by power will inevitably produce unhealthy growth and bad fruit.
Paul once wrote to the Galatian church (now Turkey) with the intent to preserve a gospel-centered culture amongst them. The Galatian Christians had once flourished under a healthy gospel soil but that was no longer the case. The soil had now been corrupted by bad gardeners that were not informed by grace but by power (Galatians 3:1). As a result, the bad fruit had sprouted and its bitterness could now be tasted by all. In Galatians 5, Paul lists several characteristics of this bad fruit. Among the characteristics are things like enmity, envy, strife, anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, and a number of addictions (Gal 5:20-21).
Leadership cultures that are not informed by the gospel generate this type of bad fruit. So many of you have unfortunately tasted over and over the bitterness of such fruit in your organization. A place where people compete against one another, where they are only looking after their own good, where conflicts are constantly mishandled, where there's little tolerance for mistakes made, where there’s no transparency, and where people’s lives, as a result, are falling apart because of all the stress, anxiety, and overwork.
In contrast to the bad fruit that a culture devoid of grace produces, the gospel-centered leadership culture, which is informed by grace, produces good fruit. Some of the characteristics of this fruit are; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness (loyalty), gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)
A leadership culture that is informed by grace helps people to become better at what they do because they have the support they need from the rest of the team to reach their maximum potential. Everyone involved is seeking to serve the team versus trying to get ahead of the rest of the team. Team members are using the resources they possess for the sake of others instead of using other people’s resources for their own sakes.
What is more visible within your team? The characteristics of the bad fruit or of the good fruit? Can you track these markers back to the operating principle of your organization? In my next post, I will talk about practical ways to start cultivating a gospel leadership culture in your organization.
Next post available on 2.14.2017: "Gospel Remedy: Dealing with the Outcomes of Leadership" By Felipe Assis